Beautiful, dear friends,
Nearly three months have passed since Brad and I returned from the Congo with our boy. These three months have most certainly passed much faster than any three since we sent our application and our first few thousand dollars to the adoption agency. I still wake up most mornings in total disbelief that we are really, truly home. To say that Brad and I are grateful is, without a doubt, the understatement of the century.
Our daughters had no idea that Jecoah and I were coming home with Brad when he returned from his “visit” with us. Take a look at the picture my beautiful, talented Jen Lints captured of the moment they saw us at the airport:
I think we succeeded in surprising them, yes? Our homecoming was beautiful; many of our nearest and dearest were at the airport to welcome us back. It was overwhelming and humbling and amazing.
The paparazzi showed up:
And, so did this:
These four beauties, the best life has to offer in friendship – they were there:
And, our precious family – part of our precious family:
The months have been hard, even harder than I’d expected and in ways that we couldn’t have prepared for. Adoptive parents everywhere will tell you that we spend much of the time we’re given in waiting to bring our children home preparing for the homecoming and the likelihood that it will be…challenging.
I tell people often, when they ask how the transition is going, that Jecoah is doing remarkably well. That is the grace I see in my living with him for five months without any distractions or bonus family members to bond with. By the time we left for home, he knew that I was his person, that I belonged to him and he to me. Such grace!
The transition has been much more difficult for our daughters, especially our oldest, not necessarily because of Jecoah but because I was gone for so long. Brad and I have spent many a night praying that God will draw our family nearer and nearer to one another, even when it feels easier to pull away. He’s answered abundantly, but the rough edges of hurt are still present.
While I was in Africa, I had something that I’d never had before and will likely never have again: an over-abundance of time. I must have read 20 books while I was there and was able to spend more time in prayer and intense study of the Word than ever before. God grew me in ways I didn’t know He would, in ways that forced me to examine the ugliest corners of my heart. I spent more time listening to God during prayer than I ever had and came away from this experience knowing that my story, not only the story of Jecoah’s adoption, but my story, my testimony, the story that my Creator authored, the ugly that he redeemed in me is to be shared.
And, so I began to pray that He would present me with opportunity after opportunity to share Jesus, share my story with whomever might benefit to hear it. Soon after my return, I was presented with the possibility of speaking to a large group of MOPS moms, young mamas of pre-school aged children.
With less than a week before my talk, I’ve spent a great deal of time preparing and, oh my dear soul, has it been a difficult week. To revisit, painful detail by painful detail, an ugly past like my own is hard. It’s embarrassing, humbling and yes, sanctifying. I’ve cried some tears of regret over the ugly sin that ruled my world throughout those years, but I’ve cried far more tears of thanksgiving, of overwhelming joy that I belong to Jesus.
I can’t wait to share Jesus and what He’s done in my life with anyone who will listen. Will you pray for me as I continue to prepare? I enjoy public speaking but, still, I’m nervous.